Returning from seeing the devastation near his hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi, Russell Moore reflects on the failures of Christians to give due consideration to environmental protection:
For too long, we evangelical Christians have maintained an uneasy ecological conscience. I include myself in this indictment.
We’ve had an inadequate view of human sin.
Because we believe in free markets, we’ve acted as though this means we should trust corporations to protect the natural resources and habitats. But a laissez-faire view of government regulation of corporations is akin to the youth minister who lets the teenage girl and boy sleep in the same sleeping bag at church camp because he “believes in young people.”
The Scripture gives us a vision of human sin that means there ought to be limits to every claim to sovereignty, whether from church, state, business or labor. A commitment to the free market doesn’t mean unfettered license any more than a commitment to free speech means hardcore pornography ought to be broadcast in prime-time by your local network television affiliate.
Caesar’s sword is there, by God’s authority, to restrain those who would harm others (Rom. 13). When government fails or refuses to protect its own people, whether from nuclear attack or from toxic waste spewing into our life-giving waters, the government has failed.
We’ve seen the issue of so-called “environmental protection” as someone else’s issue.